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November 11, 2011 / Simon Thorne

Book Review – The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely

I use the term “Book Review” loosely.

Having read Ariely’s earlier book Predictably Irrational I was delighted to stumble across his newer book on Amazon. It very much follows on from Predictably Irrational but focuses a lot more on the benefits of our all too human irrationalities.

I found the book extremely easy to read, much like Predictably Irrational I couldn’t put it down. Using his own experiences and his own research he explores the ways we function for better or for worse. What I like about Dan Ariely is, that through his books you start to feel as though you have a relationship with him. This book is much more personal than Predictably Irrational and he uses past experiences and questions that he has to further investigate the ways we behave.

I would recommend this book to anybody, not just those studying Psychology or Behavioural Economics. He delves into the world of irrationality and finds interesting things along the way. A really interesting and useful read.

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November 3, 2011 / Simon Thorne

A working mans breakfast!

I have been for a stroll around Tesco’s again, and found something else that has tickled me. Muesli has been criticised by men  (such as my dad) since it became popular. Often considered a woman’s breakfast or “rabbit food”. It looks like Tesco’s is looking to change that with its new packaging on one of their options.

Cereal for MEN

I love this packaging. Although I have liked muesli for a while, I think if I didnt I would definitely take notice of this packaging. I think men are becoming more health conscious, and are starting to take notice of those little green circles which tell us why these products are good for us. Does this now give men the right to pick up their bag of Muesli with pride? I would love to see how many men actually end up buying this (or women for their man), just as I was walking away a timid man edged towards the Muesli section, will this become a more common sight I wonder.

November 2, 2011 / Simon Thorne

Book Review – The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less by Barry Schwartz

I stumbled across this book almost by mistake (Thank you Amazon Recommendations). However, when my new batch of books arrived I was drawn to this almost immediately. Although the authors of the other books were familiar to me, I got drawn to this, maybe it was the colour.

Barry Schwartz didn’t disappoint though, over the last few days I haven’t been able to put the book down. For somebody who is a bit of a novice in decision making, it was perfect for me. The content was easy to understand but not dumbed down. It was witty and insightful (and possibly helpful towards my health).

Choice is a topic which will be featuring in my other blog throughout the second half of the semester, and this book has certainly provided a lot to write about. People often assume that more choice is always best, if we have a greater choice surely we have a greater chance of finding that one thing which is perfect for us. Throughout the book Schwartz explains why too much choice is often the source of much unhappiness for us.

Schwartz answers the question why there is so much unhappiness in a culture that has so much. He will also open you eyes to some of your own irrational actions when it comes to choice, and advise on how to choose and be happy with your decisions. The final chapter echo’s a self-help book which will try to help you make decisions better.

Overall a very interesting read, offers good insights into the link between choice and unhappiness. I was happy with my choice to buy this book, but it could have gone so wrong. Why? Get the book.

The Paradox of Choice: Why more is less is available from amazon.co.uk here.

November 1, 2011 / Simon Thorne

Optimus Prime’d to snack

This was something i saw the other day while browsing my way around Tesco’s in Bangor. I thought it was really innovative positioning.

Snack with you film tonight?

Movies and snacks go together all the time, the cinema, at the video store, and how many time when we settle down of a night to watch a movie do we wish we had picked up some popcorn/snacks?

This placement is a brilliant way of reminding people, who may be browsing movies, that they may want snacks later. They may not necessarily want the snacks that they have provided here, but i bet sales have increased by people thinking, actually i could go for some Pringles while watching a film tonight… No longer will you rue the fact you forgot to pick up some midnight snacks the next time you pick up a film in Tesco’s.

I think this is a really clever display by Tesco’s, and im sure sales of snacks will increase thanks to it.

October 31, 2011 / Simon Thorne

Welcome to the Irrational Consumer – After Hours!

Hi there! If you have found you way here from my previous blog, The Irrational Consumer, you will probably know a bit about me. If you have found you way here some other way well welcome!

I have never really been one for blogging, i didn’t really understand what the fuss was about. Anyway, this year I am doing a Masters in Consumer Psychology with Business at Bangor University, North Wales. As part of one of my modules, we were required to write a blog, I found it quite enjoyable and have since thought a good idea to remember all the random things I find interesting would be, you guessed it, to blog about it!

This blog is going to be used mainly for me to comment on things i’ve seen and have thought they were quite innovative. Interesting point of sale displays, good adverts, as well as the not so good. As I often think, “I have an example of this” when discussing topics in class, i can never remember where i saw it, or what i saw, just… “I know something about this, or did…”. So i figured a good way to keep track would be to blog and archive them. Now my thoughts are only a click away!

I will also be using this place to talk about what going on in the news regarding brands and marketing, summarising interesting papers i’ve read and every now and then maybe a quick book review.

Hope you find my thoughts interesting!

And Happy Halloween!

Simon Thorne